Adaptive Management for Decision Making at the Program and
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PNNL-18261 Adaptive Management for Decision Making at the Program and Project Levels of the Missouri River Recovery Program RM Thom D Tyre MG Anderson CA Fleming February 2009 DISCLAIMER This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor Battelle Memorial Institute, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof, or Battelle Memorial Institute. 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(9/2003) PNNL-18261 Adaptive Management for Decision Making at the Program and Project Levels of the Missouri River Recovery Program RM Thoma D Tyreb MG Andersona CA Flemingc a PacificNorthwest National Laboratory b Universityof Nebraska-Lincoln c U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District February 2009 Prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract DE-AC05-76RL01830 Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Richland, Washington 99352 February 2009 ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT FOR DECISION MAKING AT THE PROGRAM AND PROJECT LEVELS OF THE MISSOURI RIVER RECOVERY PROGRAM Prepared by Ronald Thom (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory [PNNL]), Michael Anderson (PNNL), Andrew Tyre (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), and Craig Fleming (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District) strategy for implementing adaptive Introduction management within the program; we finish with The paper, “Adaptive Management: an example of AM in action within Phase I of Background for Stakeholders in the Missouri the MRPP. River Recovery Program,” introduced the The Missouri River Recovery Program concept of adaptive management (AM), its principles and how they relate to one-another, The MRRP consists of activities to restore how AM is applied, and challenges for its some of the natural form and function of the implementation. This companion paper Missouri River ecosystem to recover the three describes how the AM principles were applied listed species—Pallid sturgeon to specific management actions within the (Scaphirhynchus albus), Interior least tern Missouri River Recovery Program to facilitate (Sterna antillarum), and Piping plover understanding, decision-making, and (Charadrius melodus)—while providing for stakeholder engagement. For context, we current social and economic values. This effort begin with a brief synopsis of the Missouri will take decades to accomplish and will River Recovery Program (MRRP) and the require more than just the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to succeed. The recovery program stands on four foundational pillars: habitat creation, flow modifications, science, and public involvement. The Corps and USFWS have committed to using AM as the management tool of choice in executing Shallow water habitat chute. Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2 Adaptive Management for Decision Making at the Program and Project Levels of the Missouri River Recovery Program Flow modification. Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers the MRRP. AM includes stakeholders and Statement. AM principles will be incorporated others in the process of addressing the into the development and implementation of uncertainties that exist (scientific, social, and the plan. economic) in restoration actions on a large The two program phases are very different in system. make-up and purpose and require some further explanation: The adaptive management strategy for the MRRP consists of two phases. Phase I is Phase I is the starting place for MRRP focused on applying AM principles to ongoing actions that are already underway within management actions (Biological Opinion and the Corps. Phase I starts with Biological Mitigation Program activities) in the near term Opinion actions (under the Reasonable and (5 to 15 years) to improve their ability to meet Prudent Alternative or RPA). These are program goals and objectives. Phase II is a actions described in the Biological Opinion long-term planning process focused on the by the USFWS that are likely to help the entire Missouri River system to develop future Corps avoid jeopardy. Jeopardy actions strategies for the Missouri River through a are very different from recovery actions in collaborative planning process developed that avoiding jeopardy means not making under the Missouri River Ecosystem things worse than they currently are. So, Restoration Plan and Environmental Impact Phase I starts with RPA actions (which are focused on removing jeopardy) and will Adaptive Management for Decision Making at the Program and Project Levels of the Missouri River Recovery Program 3 seek to learn from these actions to move terns (these birds forage for small fishes in towards recovery by improving them and SWHs.). The RPA also includes the creation adding to them as information and of Emergent Sandbar Habitat (ESH) for Piping collaboration warrants. plover and Interior least tern forage and Phase II, on the other hand, will be about nesting habitat. recovery. Through the collaborative Phase I Adaptive Management in the planning process, assessment of existing Missouri River Recovery Program information (including information gathered and/or learned during Phase I) will be used Phase I of the MRRP applies structured to craft alternatives that can truly achieve decision making to existing activities. The recovery of the listed species, while also Corps and the Fish and Wildlife Service providing for other interests of the system. participated in Rapid Prototyping Workshops with teams of interagency/interdisciplinary We will combat many important subtleties people to develop goals, objectives, and within those statements throughout both models necessary to predict consequences of phases of this program. For now, it is the management actions being implemented. important to know that the phases are different The models improve our ability to meet and why. The remainder of this paper focuses program objectives and the individual program on Phase I AM. goals. So far, we have engaged in Phase I in The Biological Opinion1 (amended in 2003) one area: habitat creation; other RPA elements contained RPA elements that would help avoid will be addressed as time and needs dictate. further negative impacts to the listed species. Developing and implementing an adaptive One element, habitat creation (along with strategy for an action requires working with habitat restoration), is a principal mechanism technical workgroups, the Cooperation for for recovering populations of threatened and Recovery (CORE) team, stakeholders in the endangered species.1 As one of the four pillars Missouri River Recovery Implementation of the MRRP, habitat creation is focused on Committee (MRRIC), and monitoring teams. recovery of species through the creation of the habitats upon which they rely. The RPA includes Shallow Water Habitat (SWH) creation activities for Pallid sturgeon and Interior least Juvenile Pallid sturgeon. Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Nesting Interior least tern. Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineers 4 Adaptive Management for Decision Making at the Program and Project Levels of the Missouri River Recovery Program Pilot Projects with the Missouri River when habitat is required by the birds. Recovery Program Construction of the habitat commences during Two pilot projects have been initiated under the a short period of the year when the birds are MRRP. absent and when icy conditions do not restrict work. Bird populations typically use ESH Shallow Water Habitat Program between mid-April and August. The USFWS has established sandbar acreage goals to be One primary RPA goal is to provide sufficient achieved by 2015 in four sections of the river, habitat throughout the lower Missouri River to including stretches below Garrison Dam, Fort support self-sustaining populations of Pallid Randall Dam, Gavins Point Dam, and Lewis sturgeon by creating 20 to 30 acres per mile of and Clark Lake.4 SWH below Gavins Point Dam.1 Strategies for creating SWH include widening the main Both the SWH and ESH programs are being channel (increasing top width), creating side guided by a suite of comprehensive research channel chutes, modifying existing habitat, and monitoring programs conducted by altering summer river flow, or using a numerous agencies. The science process is combination of the above. SWH is naturally guided by engineers and scientists to help created through two means: 1) erosion of the understand the complex ecosystem and how high banks, and 2) erosion and deposition system components work together. Numerous converting terrestrial acres into aquatic habitat. uncertainties remain, but the AM plans will Widening of channels and construction of ultimately inform the decision-making process chutes requires excavation of bank material as new information is gathered over time and and/or modification of the configuration of rock studied collectively among programs. and piling structures of the Bank Stabilization and Navigation Project. After these physical actions, the river is expected to erode the high banks to complete the SWH creation process. Currently, two methods have been used under the MRRP: 1) construction of habitat that is immediately usable by the species, and 2) alteration of existing habitat to promote sedimentation.2 Emergent Sandbar Habitat Program The Emergent Sandbar Habitat (ESH) Program is a project-level effort designed to improve the outcome of management actions implemented in response to the Biological Opinion on two avian species listed under the Endangered Species Act: the Interior least tern and the Piping plover. Sandbars are being created by building (bulldozing or dredging) new emergent sandbar island habitat, mechanically clearing vegetation from existing sandbars, or by being exposed by adjusting river flow at critical times Habitat protection. Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Adaptive Management for Decision Making at the Program and Project Levels of the Missouri River Recovery Program 5 Applying Adaptive Management in the The SDM steps helped organize the Missouri River Recovery Program understanding of the interactions and the importance of many of the uncertainties and As was presented in the first paper, an AM focus decision-making on key types of process helps attain program goals in an information. Some of the products of the SDM efficient and cost-effective manner. Rather workshop were drafts of simple numerical than using trial and error, the MRRP is actively models that can be used to predict the benefit investigating and directing actions based on of the SWH creation alternatives to sturgeon. the analysis of information that is critical to The models and other SDM tools are meant to making decisions about what should be guide decision-making that maximizes the implemented. The work to date on this benefit realized from the MRRP. Uncertainties process for SWH is summarized here. Work remain about how well the alternative actions on ESH has followed a similar path. will work to produce the expected result in History of the Process to Develop an Adaptive habitat that provides the maximum benefit to Management Strategy for Shallow Water the sturgeon population. The uncertainties are Habitat associated with the physical outcomes of actions as well as the biological connections To begin developing an AM strategy for SWH, between the actions and the fish. a Structured Decision Making Rapid Prototype workshop was held. The goal of the workshop Program actions taken over the past several was to develop a prototype of a SWH decision years are starting to yield information that is that would help us see the utility of Structured critical to the advancement of the MRRP. As Decision Making (SDM) for our efforts. Once an example, the Habitat Assessment and that value was realize we worked to expand Monitoring Program (HAMP), and the Pallid the prototype into an AM plan to guide Sturgeon Population Assessment Program, as implementation of the SWH creation actions, well as other survey and modeling efforts, are monitoring, analyses, and reporting. The SDM supplying data that directly relate to how well approach enables formal evaluation of a various physical actions are working. The complex decision to ensure that all aspects are HAMP was established to assess the effects of considered.3 Adaptive management is a SWH creation on habitat development and special case of SDM that arises when the fishes occupying the river by studying certain decisions are iterative; that is, the sections of the river before and after actions consequences of future decisions depend on were taken, as well as sections where no the outcomes of past decisions. The set of action was taken. Supplemental to the HAMP simple steps addressed at the workshop are as data, the Pallid Sturgeon Population follows: Assessment Program will provide the Define the problem. benchmark for determining whether the Describe the objectives. population is recovering. Taken together, the HAMP and population assessment activities, List the possible actions. coupled with monitoring of what actions Predict the consequences of those actions produced the greatest physical changes in the in terms of the objectives. area of SWH, will inform future decisions about Examine the tradeoffs among the objectives the most efficient and effective means for to select the best action. recovering the species. 6 Adaptive Management for Decision Making at the Program and Project Levels of the Missouri River Recovery Program Stakeholder involvement. Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Stakeholder Engagement and if not, what is being done to rectify the As described in the DOI Technical Guide on situation is critical to the success of the MRRP. AM, stakeholders are critical to successful Conclusion progress in AM. Stakeholders must be involved in the process of reviewing MRRP progress The complexity and incomplete understanding and advising decision-makers. The Missouri of the Missouri River ecosystem drives the River Implementation Committee is looked to application of the AM principles as described in as the primary source for stakeholder “Adaptive Management: Background for engagement within the MRRP. The Stakeholders in the Missouri River Recovery Cooperating for Recovery (CORE) team is Program,” which are helping to shape AM responsible for major decisions regarding plans for both the SWH and ESH programs. implementation of the MRRP. Engineers These plans, along with on-the-ground implement creation actions and scientists research and monitoring activities, will help monitor and report on the relevant results ensure that decisions are based on the best required by the CORE team to make decisions. available science and those efforts to recover The addition of stakeholder participation in native species move toward the MRRP goal of reviewing the results of the program, asking “A sustainable ecosystem supporting thriving whether the program is truly meeting its goals, populations of native species while providing for current social and economic values.” Adaptive Management for Decision Making at the Program and Project Levels of the Missouri River Recovery Program 7 2 References Staroska, A, C Ridenour, C Wrasse, W Doyle, and T Hill. 2008. Pallid Sturgeon Habitat 1 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2000. Assessment and Monitoring Program 2007 Biological Opinion on the Operation of the Annual Report: Segments 10, 13, and 14. Missouri River Main Stem Reservoir System, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Operation and Maintenance of the Missouri Columbia National Fish and Wildlife River Bank Stabilization and Navigation Conservation Office, Columbia, Missouri. Project, and Operation of the Kansas River 3 Reservoir System. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Gregory, RS and RL Keeney. 2002. “Making Service, Fort Snelling, Minnesota. smarter environmental management decisions.” Journal of the American Water U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2003. 2003 Resources Association 38(6):1601-1612. Amendment to the 2000 Biological Opinion on 4 the Operation of the Missouri River Main Stem Missouri River Recovery Program. 2007. Reservoir System, Operation and Maintenance Emergent Sandbar Habitat (ESH). Available of the Missouri River Bank Stabilization and URL: Navigation Project, http://www.moriverrecovery.org/mrrp/f?p=136:1 and Operation of the Kansas River Reservoir 32:1941169279106105::NO:::. (Accessed System. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Fort February 5, 2009 ) Snelling, Minnesota. Missouri River sunset. Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.